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Watseka Health Care Center evacuated

           Fire & smoke forces residents to temporary shelter

Emergency responders assisted residents of the Watseka Rahab & Health Care Center to evacuate the facility on Raymond Road Wednesday afternoon.

No injury was reported when a small fire in an electrical panel caused a lot of smoke., according to Watseka Fire Chief Tim Ketchum.

Ketchum reported employees at the facility actually extinguished the fire. Fire personnel had work to do in clearing smoke from the building. A box-alarm alerted neighboring fire departments.

Ketchum said other health care facilities in Iroquois County provided bus transportation in getting residents to emergency shelters.

The nearby First Christian Church is an emergency-shelter for the Peterson HealthCare-owned Watseka Rehab Center.

The fire chief said the company’s emergency operation plan worked “very well” in making sure all patients were well-cared for and the evacuation was completed. Chief Ketchum said Milford Fire Chief Frank Hines took on the Incident Command role and all working personnel did what needed to be done.

Efforts were underway to get residents returned to the Center, some even last evening. Some of the residents were bused to sister-centers nearby and others to Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka for housing.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Heat Wave Ahead..... Storms, then more widespread storms in days ahead

A heat wave looks to begin Thursday, followed by a worsening of the heat into the weekend. A few random storms will increase during the weekend, followed by more widespread rainfall, then some slight relief from the high humidity & heat.

The NWS released a detailed radar showing what’s expected....

TONIGHT:
A few spotty showers/thunder showers will continue to be possible into evening, followed by areas of fog developing.
A large complex or two of storms with some severe weather & lots of flash flooding will pass southwest & south of us through Missouri & southern Illinois & Indiana. This will only enhance the oppressive heat ahead as our winds will be blowing off all of that saturated, flooded ground, carrying moisture to evaporate into the heat. Add the rapidly-growing & even tasseling corn & lush vegetation into the mix (from all of the rain) & it all equals very high humidity as heat from the Southwest U.S. & Mexico overspreads our area. Temperatures at 5,000' will climb to near 80, signaling intense heat over the area Saturday-Sunday.

The moisture & lush vegetation will keep it at 90-95, rather than surging to like 95-100.

Read more: Heat Wave Ahead..... Storms, then more widespread storms in days ahead

  • Parent Category: News

Tornado Causes Damage In Suburban Manhattan

(Manhattan, IL) -- Cleanup is underway after a tornado hit southwest suburban Manhattan. A tornado warning was issued last night after the funnel cloud touched down in the village. Buildings were a damaged and trees and power poles were knocked down. Hundreds of people briefly lost power.

NWS: Tuesday's tornado near Gifford an EF-1

A National Weather Service spokesman said (Wed) the tornado that touched down Tuesday night between Rantoul and Gifford in rural Champaign County was classified as an EF-1. The twister had wind speeds of 90 miles per hour.

Meteorologist Chris Miller reported the EF-1 twister was 75 yards wide and was on the ground for just under 4 miles. It touched down at 8:27 p.m. 3.3 miles southeast of Rantoul and traveled northeast. It broke up at 8:35 p.m. 1.9 miles west-northwest of Gifford.

Some out-buildings and trees were damaged, but no one was hurt.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

KCC tops in job placement, according to survey

Kankakee Community College received word this week that it’s among the best in placing students in jobs. A new website, called Zippia, helps students with career choices. Zippia ranked the local college No. 1 among Illinois' junior colleges for getting its students jobs.

The survey took into account job placement rates in the 10th year after students graduate, based on information colleges give to the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the survey, Kankakee Community College had a job placement rate of 87 percent. Topping the list nationally for two years in a row was North Central Kansas Technical College, with a 94 percent rate.

KCC president, Dr. John Avendano, calls this a "big deal."

Read more: KCC tops in job placement, according to survey

  • Parent Category: News

Will County hit hard by tornado

The Will County community of Manhattan was hit hard by a tornado Tuesday evening, damaging the U.S. Post Office and at least a dozen other structures.

No reports of injuries.  Power was out for several hundred ComEd customers. Trees were uprooted and utiliy poles snapped.

The NWS reported weather-related damage in neighboring Kendall and Kane Counties.  The weather service is assessing damages today.

Tornados were also reported in Gifford in Champaign County and near Rantoul.

94.1 WGFA